Sergeant Thomas F. Burke.
Sergeant Thomas F. Burke was part of Troop B and stationed at Camp Fort Orange. As was the case with many of the men of Troop B, he was from the Albany area, hailing from Gloversville, New York. Burke had brought a camera with him and took photographs of his friends, fellow soldiers, and the animals that lived and worked with them, including their beloved cavalry horse, Peggy. The photos he shot are a rare, unique, and singular glimpse into the past. Few pictures exist of the New York Guard during World War I, let alone of the First Provisional Regiment. It is no exaggeration to say that Sergeant ‘Tommy’ Burke’s wonderful, candid photos are a precious addition to New York State’s history. These photographs were donated to the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection by his widow, Helena Gerow Burke, whom he purportedly met while stationed in New Paltz as part of the Guard.
Burke was honorably discharged from the Guard in June 1918. He enrolled in the U.S. Naval Reserve and was on active duty from June until December 1918.